Dash Diet

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)

The DASH diet was created at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United states, and was sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute branch of NIH. The diet was based on a number of large, purpose-designed clinical trials specifically examining hypertension and its associated risks.

The diet is highly ranked in many surveys of the most healthy diets for a majority of individuals. The US Department of Food and Agriculture recommended the DASH diet as one of its best eating plans for all Americans, but the diet can also be useful for people in other countries.

DASH is not a vegetarian diet, but it is one with a variety of vegetables, and is low in fats other than those found in nuts. It can be adjusted to remove meat if that is desired, as long as useable proteins and minerals are included. The diet controls for high levels of salts found in processed and fast foods. Significantly, in clinical trials, the DASH diet does lower blood pressure even with no loss in weight. So for individuals who already have a healthy weight, or who have great difficulty losing weight, it can be of assistance in reducing risks associated with stroke and coronary disease.

The DASH diet does not seem to be particularly difficult to follow, but individuals who have dietary issues related to certain foods and enzyme deficiencies should consult the FODMAP diet. Many descriptions of the DASH diet can be found online but the best place to begin, and the one that includes information on clinical trials and their outcomes, is the source itself: The National Institutes of Health in the U.S.